Volunteer Abroad Program for Vets, Nurses and Animal Care Takers

Healthy Pets Program in Guatemala

Spay/neuter and vaccination campaign in Todos Santos

Interested volunteers: please submit an application by July 1st, 2017. Accepted volunteers will be notified by August 1st.


Every year, Veterinarians International partners with The Global Alliance for Animals and People to provide veterinary care and community education to the highland community of Todos Santos, Guatemala. The annual program provides:

  • Canine rabies vaccinationimg_3672_branded_white
  • Responsible pet ownership and disease prevention education
  • Humane spay/neuter campaigns
  • Training and support to Guatemalan veterinarians and animal health care workers to provide continuing care when we are not there

We are looking for volunteers to participate in our 2018 campaign that will take place from April 13-20, 2018. Our program is open to people from all disciplines (including veterinarians, veterinary technicians and assistants), but you must be able to handle working under a significant amount of stress and in difficult physical conditions. Assistants play an integral role in our program and may be performing valuable tasks such as helping to hold animals for exams, sterilizing instruments, packing and assisting wherever necessary.

Volunteers are asked to fundraise $1350 to help fund the Healthy Pets Program and keep it running all year round. This cost also includes your on-the-ground expenses including food, transportation and lodging. We are here to help you make this dream become a reality with our fundraising tool-kit and one-on-one training session with img_4743our recruitment coordinator.

Volunteers are responsible for their own airfare, optional excursions, travel and/or health insurance. Please ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the departure date.

If accepted as a volunteer, you will be required to pay a deposit of $300 to hold your spot by August 15th, 2017 and then the balance is due by January 5th, 2018. Both deposits are 100% non-refundable.

Detailed information about your trip to Guatemala can be found here.


img_3529_brandedMost volunteers will arrive at the Guatemala City airport on Thursday evening or early Friday morning to then travel by bus to Todos Santos.

Saturday and Sunday are community education days, where we will engage local children in activities promoting responsible pet ownership and disease prevention. Past activities have included a puppet show, arts and crafts, short films, and other fun and interactive lessons.


Monday img_4529_brandedthrough Friday consists of the spay/neuter and vaccination clinic. Surgeons will perform an average of 10 procedures a day, and on average over 100 pets receive vaccinations per day. All volunteers are expected to
demonstrate team work and help each other where needed, including cleaning up at the end of each day.

All volunteers leave Todos Santos early on Saturday morning and travel to Antigua, where you may relax, shop, and enjoy the city.

Most participants travel to the airport on Sunday.

Packing List

  • Clothing
    • Hiking boots and/or running shoes
    • Flip flops (for the shower)
    • Comfortable pants
    • Quick dry pants
    • 2-5 scrub tops/bottoms
    • Warm jacket, fleece, or hoodie
    • Rain jacket
    • Hat (+/- gloves)
    • Shirts or t-shirts
    • Socks
    • Underwear
    • Warm pajamas
    • Bathing suit
  • Vet Supplies – We need each veterinarian to bring the following (let us know immediately if you anticipate any difficulties in bringing these items)
    • Surgical gloves- 1 box (50 pairs) in your size
    • Surgical caps- 1 to 2 disposables or one personal cloth cap
    • Surgical masks- 5-10 disposables
    • Suture material- 1 box (50 packs) of your choice
    • Surgical packs- 2 spay packs clearly labelled/marked (these packs will return home with you)
    • Stethoscope- 1 labeled with your name
    • Exam gloves- 1 box of your size
  • Assorted
    • sleeping bag +/- plastic sheeting or mattress barrier if you’re worried about bedbugs (I haven’t been infested but possible)
    • Quick-drying Travel towel (has to air dry and it is chilly overnight)
    • Small notebook
    • Pens
    • Headlight (+ spare batteries) – required for surgeons but useful for all as not much lighting at night
    • Stethoscope
    • Watch/travel alarm clock
    • Earplugs if noise bothers you
    • Any portable food supplies you are particular about (energy bars, granola bars)- note there is no refrigeration
    • Any medications, toiletries, contact lens/glasses, GI meds, First Aid
    • Battery charger, spare batteries for any must-have equipment
    • Sunscreen
    • Small bottles of hand sanitizer
    • Day pack
    • Waist wallet
  • Flight
    • Passport and a copy of your passport photo page and other important ID (driver’s license) tucked in your pack
    • Tickets
    • Please ask us for a Customs letter if you are bringing any veterinary supplies (NO PHARMACEUTICALS)– have never been asked for this in our many flights to and from Guatemala – but you never know
    • Emergency contact info
    • Copy of travel/health insurance